Finmeccanica chairman and chief executive Giuseppe Orsi has been arrested by Italian police as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption linked to the sale of 12 VIP-roled AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to the Indian defence ministry.

In a brief statement, Finmeccanica confirms that "precautionary measures" were issued towards Orsi on 12 February, and also against AgustaWestland chief executive Bruno Spagnolini in relation to the investigation. The latter is reported to have been placed under house arrest.

Giuseppe Orsi


"Finmeccanica expresses support for its chairman and CEO, with the hope that clarity is established quickly, whilst reaffirming its confidence in the judges," the statement says. "The operating activities and ongoing projects of the company will continue as usual."

Both Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland have previously denied allegations that illegal payments were made in relation to the sale, which prompted New Delhi to request an investigation.

Signed in February 2010, India's AW101 acquisition is worth about €560 million ($753 million). The nation's first three of the aircraft are due to be delivered to its air force before the end of 2013.

Source: Flight International